Undead ACTA Still Thrashing

Check out Michael Geist’s latest update The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is at Stake and What You Can Do. Here’s an excerpt:

The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. (excellent analysis from Benkler and Downes) and elsewhere (mounting Canadian concern that Bill C-11 could be amended to adopt SOPA-like rules), but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week. Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed the agreement, most European Union countries formally signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia).

This has generated a flurry of furious protest: thousands have taken to the streets in protest in Poland, nearly 250,000 people have signed a petition against the agreement, and a Member of the European Parliament has resigned his position as rapporteur to scrutinize the agreement, concluding that the entire review process is a “charade.”

It’s a democracy folks. Let’s make our voice known.

Taking Liberties

What good is the right to public assembly for protest if the authorities can take that right away on their whim?

One of the things that happens, during events at which protests will take place, such as the G20 in Toronto, is the designation of protest or “speech” areas. What seems to happen is that any non-peaceful action turns into an excuse to take away the freedom to assemble. Take Queen’s Park, for example, on Sat Jun 26 10…

Queen’s Park houses parliamentary buildings and was designated as an assembly/speech area. When protests elsewhere in the city got ugly, in places not necessarily designated as such, the authorities didn’t move to quell unrest in those places first. Instead, they cleared out the actual designated protest areas.

What good is the right to public assembly for protest if the authorities can take that right away on their whim?